Friday, June 30, 2006

the Asbestos story

THE Asbestos Story, a 30-minute documentary, sets the tone for debate on whether the proposed ban on white asbestos is a question of health or economics....

The documentary starts in Zimbabwe's mining town of Zvishavane, and then Harare before going to Johannesburg and Switzerland.

There are three types of asbestos - blue (amosite), brown (crocidolite), and white (chrysotile). The blue and brown asbestos were the more superior type widely used in Europe and extensively mined in South Africa.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) banned them after it was revealed that they caused cancer.

White asbestos is the only type that remains on the market today and is mined in Russia, Brazil, China and Zimbabwe.

It is widely used in the manufacture of brake pads, water pipes and irrigation systems and currently makes up 90 percent of roofing in the region....

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